Egyptian officials: Cairo's ties to Tel Aviv will remain steady in Netanyahu era

By BRENDA GAZZAR
May 8, 2009 05:20

Egyptian FM spokesman says Egypt has "worked with various governments in the past and we will continue to work with various governments in the future."

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Egyptian officials: Cairo's ties to Tel Aviv will remain steady in Netanyahu era

Mubarak 248 88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Senior Egyptian officials have indicated that their relations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government are expected to be "not less good" than with the former administration of Ehud Olmert, Israeli officials say. "The Egyptian government and its leadership are committed to work with this new government as with the previous government to achieve peace and dialogue for the region," an Israeli diplomatic official said this week. The visit of Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Sulieman to Israel last month was meant to indicate that, the official added added. "His visit said that and he said that," the official said. Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki confirmed on Wednesday that Egypt has "worked with various governments in the past and we will continue to work with various governments in the future." However, "the intensity of the relationship is always measured by how keen an Israeli government is toward achieving peace with the Palestinians," he said. "How engaged it is in peace talks with the Palestinians and the Arabs is a major factor." Egypt was still waiting to see a clear political program from Netanyahu's government vis-a-vis peace, Zaki said. He added that there was no alternative to the two-state solution and called the Giora Eiland plan "bull." The plan drafted by former National Security Council head Eiland proposes that Egypt give up a strip of land in northern Sinai to make the Gaza Strip a more viable territory, while Israel gave Egypt a comparable strip of land from the Negev. Jordan would have security control over the West Bank.


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